Fans of Breaking Bad are delighted by the news about the Better Call Saul spinoff, featuring Walter White’s less-than-ethical attorney, Saul Goodman. As part of the promotional campaign, AMC has been airing a series of mock attorney ads, such as the tongue-in-cheek “Sue ’Em Now” spot.
While the hilarious teasers are obviously fake, they shed light on an unfortunate misconception among attorneys and audiences alike regarding the ethics and methods of law firm marketing. Rather than instigating frivolous lawsuits to make a quick buck, most law firms have a sincere need and desire to offer their services to potential clients.
But how does a firm distinguish itself from its less well-intentioned counterparts? The key is to understand the principles and best practices of marketing.
Myths that keep law firms from building strong marketing strategies
When law firms shy away from marketing campaigns, they risk laboring in obscurity, and never achieving the growth of which they are capable. Among the myths that keep them from investing wisely in marketing are:
- Television marketing looks “tacky.” Late-night, low-budget personal injury law firm commercials often give the profession a bad image. But marketing effectively via television and online video is possible when attorneys use a genuine script, an appropriate tone, and high-quality production techniques.
- Marketing to people’s misfortunes is distasteful. It may seem insensitive to think of potential clients as “leads,” especially when unfortunate circumstances have brought them to the point of needing your services. However, these individuals must receive help from someone; shouldn’t that assistance come from your firm?
- Marketing is an unnecessary expense. Investing in advertising space, a new website, or the services of a marketing company may mean allocating a larger portion of your firm’s budget for the purpose. Although it may seem painless to cut marketing costs, the result is a potential client base that’s more aware of your competitors than you.
- We don’t have the business know-how. Obtaining a legal education does not prepare most attorneys for the complexities of building a strong marketing strategy. However, the most compelling marketing campaigns are also the most candid. Simply showcasing your expertise is the best way to convince audiences they should choose your firm.
Components of an effective law firm marketing campaign
Legal professionals who seek to build a stronger marketing strategy may do so in many ways. Increasing a firm’s profile requires a multi-pronged, targeted approach to reach its goals and provide compelling ROI.
As you get started on your next marketing initiative, your steps toward higher visibility and industry leadership should include:
Examining competitors’ efforts. Research the rival law firms to discover what techniques they are using to raise their profile. The key is not to duplicate what they have been doing, but to identify what you found effective and ineffective. It also helps to consider which components were missing, so you can ensure you won’t overlook them in your campaign.
Tailoring content to your firm’s personality. Inauthentic marketing attempts produce many a cringe-worthy moment. In your photo, video, and print campaigns, don’t use bold graphics or puns if your firm generally projects a serious image. The goal should be to attract clients who value and share your philosophy.
Developing compelling content. One of the best ways to attract clients is to have a strong online presence. Search engines reward businesses that include prolific, high-quality content on their websites and social media pages, such as articles, blogs, and press releases. Write about subjects your target audiences will likely be searching for, and you will soon become a valuable resource.
Automating marketing processes. The bulk of a law firm’s work revolves around practicing law, and a marketing approach that seeks to make an impact should not change that. Automated emails, social media posts, and other resources allow businesses to plug in the information they want to share, while the automation does the rest.
Working with a marketing agency. Like an attorney, a marketing professional works with clients to build a specialized plan of attack and achieve a predetermined goal. Working with an experienced agency to create and implement your next marketing campaign will likely result in a considerably higher ROI than if you try to do it yourself.
Learn to separate myth from fact when it comes to marketing your law firm, and clients will flock to you before you know it.
What other law firm marketing misconceptions have held you back from creating a plan?